Professional - Golgo 13 (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Saturday, February 01, 2003
Release Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2002
What They Say
Indestructible to his enemies and irresistible to his women, the profession assassin code-named GOLGO 13 is shrouded in mystery and anonymity.
If you're on his hit list... you're already dead.
Always hired on his reputation alone, GOLGO 13 never breaks a contract.
But can he survive the combined forces of the FBI, CIA, The Pentagon and the U.S. Army? Has the nameless agent finally met his match against the superhuman powers of the Snake and the twin evils of psychopathic mercenaries, Gold and Silver?
Back in the VHS days, The Professional: Golgo 13 was one of the titles that quickly cemented my dislike of both Manga Entertainment and English dubs. Now it makes a leap into the DVD era in Australia... completely unchanged.
Just the Streamline Pictures English dub in basic stereo, which highlights all my major problems with dubs. Recognizable and overly used voice actors, voices ill-suited to their on-screen counterparts, at times bland speech and a script overflowing with swear words.
The video is dated, both in content and masters, but is of reasonable quality with minimal grain and damage. The single point where this release is better than the old VHS version is it being letterboxed, not that it adds much to the proceedings. As with seemingly all dub only discs, no subtitles are provided.
Using a circular model based on a targeting sight, on top of scenes of the first two assassinations preformed by Golgo 13, mixed in with generic scenes elsewhere from the movie. It's serviceable and easy to use, like most Madman menus, right down to having the access to the "hidden" authoring credit for Madman Interactive on the main menu.
Just trailers, both the Dub trailer for Golgo 13 and four other Manga trailers.
The classic cover image of Golgo 13 pointing a big magnum at those shining a spotlight, not really an eye draw as it's rather dull. The rear cover features a mixture of VHS blurb and screen captures with large areas of blank black space. The inside cover follows the recent Manga titles from Madman trend by plugging 8 other Manga title from Madman releases, four to a side. The disc has Golgo 13 with wineglass in hand during his review of Doctor Z's defenses against a black background on it.
The movie follows Golgo 13, your basic virtually un-killable/hit with the ladies/man of few words/always get his target assassin. After killing the heir of an incredibly power oil conglomerate and traveling through a side-plot assassination, Golgo 13 finds himself the target of the vengeful father who is able to command the US military, CIA and FBI with ease. Not that it would do any good against the immovable target that is Duke Torgo/Golgo 13...
Content wise the movie is straight forward fare, apart from the reasons for the younger Dawson's death and the lengths the elder Dawson is willing to go to ensure his company's future, with a plot that would easily be at home in a million Hollywood action films. It also feels very disjointed in places, with the Gold and Silver subplot being tacked on rather too late in the proceedings. Visually, the movie dates itself on many levels, both in selection of cars (check out that Turbo Laser!) and some decidedly primitive 3D CGI towards the end, with similar early 80's character designs.
The Professional: Golgo 13 doesn't have a lot going for it outside fans willing to upgrade from a reasonably selling VHS version, a visit back to the bad old violent Japanese porn cartoons from Manga era best avoided.
JNL-7001 DVD Player, Commodore 1802 PAL Color Monitor
Mania Grade: C
Audio Rating: C-
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B-
Menus Rating: B-
Extras Rating: D+
Age Rating: All
Region: 4 - Australia / South America
Released By: Madman Entertainment
MSRP: 29.95 AU
Running time: 93
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Golgo 13